Why Guest Posting is Better than EastEnders… If you read Part 1 of our Guest Posting series you’ll be up to speed with the fantastic benefits of this blogging strategy – why it’s so good for SEO, targeting audiences and building relationships. In short, guest posting drives quality traffic to your site, increases your authority and widens your reach. So now we come to making this a reality – how do you become a really awesome guest poster? In our previous article, we mentioned guest post spam. That is, posting on a site that holds little relevance to your subject area simply to reach a massive audience with your sell. There are two aspects of this that make for truly awful guest bloggers: the blatant sell, and a blanket approach to reaching your audience. Let’s take the blatant sell first. In an increasingly customer-driven world, marketers know selling hard and fast has little effect but to turn off potential buyers. Offering value – excessive value! – is the way to win over loyal, committed fans. And when we consider that the very nature of blogging is informational (and there’s a strong culture of sharing among all bloggers) – the idea of selling is no doubt far from your mind. But just in case you were thinking of selling hard, the same value-led informational rules apply when you’re guest posting as they do to all marketing. Yes, guest posting is a fantastic way to reach new people but straight selling is only going to turn them off. The blanket approach to audience follows the same lines. Most bloggers will refuse a guest post that’s irrelevant to their audience but when there’s cash involved, rules can bend. Sure, the blog owner will pocket a little cash, but will you pocket any new customers? Not if you’re blog post is irrelevant. So, what uld we do? Our research. Find great blogs that are relevant to your product or service A few questions to help narrow this down are: What is your business famous for? Or what do you want it to be famous for? What themes and industries compliment this? For example, you might want to be famous for world class swimming tuition. Themes that compliment that might be personal fitness, healthy eating, sporting equipment, sporting techniques. You could focus on age and develop themes around teaching babies, children and adults to swim. You could look into swimming venues, indoor and outdoor locations – you get the idea, and now you have some clearly defined areas of focus from which to begin your search. So go looking – check out blogs that talk about each of these themes and start to build a list of potential blogs to approach. Search Facebook and LinkedIn groups for links to brilliant blogs and resources, check out who’s saying, doing and promoting what and who on Twitter. Get involved Now you’ve spotted a blog you’d like to guest post on, hang out on the blog, read the articles, comment on existing posts. And not just in the week leading up to your request – show genuine interest in what this blogger is all about. That might include connecting on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook and sharing their articles with your audience. This will ensure it’s the right blog for your guest post and give you insight into what subject might really interest this audience. Do they accept guest posts? Before approaching a blogger, always check out any existing guidelines, terms and conditions and fees. This will effect what you write about, how you write your post or, indeed, if you can submit a guest post for them at all! Usually, guest posts will be marked as such (e.g. Sponsored Post), and it’s not unusual for ever-popular mummy bloggers and well-established blogs to charge. How much you’re willing to pay is driven by budget and also value – how much is this opportunity worth to you? Climbing up the blogging ranks Smaller, less well known blogs are more likely to accept your ‘pitch’ or suggestions simply because they’ll be getting fewer requests day on day. You might like to start with these blogs to build up your guest posting repertoire before approaching a major blog with you ideas. What will you write? What can you talk about that will deliver value? Can you offer an alternative angle or opinion, new developments in technology or a unique approach? You could: Share an experience Offer an opinion Give expert advice Compare and contrast Produce useful lists and top tips Having already decided what your business wants to be famous for and collated a host of connected themes, ideas will no doubt be springing up all over the place. To take these ideas to the next stage: Formulate a list of potential blog post titles Choose two or three of your favourites Broadly draft these posts in note form Produce a synopses for ‘selling in’ to bloggers The Big Ask Sometimes bloggers will stipulate a strict protocol for submitting guest posts. If you have free reign be clear with your reasons for approaching them and the benefits you can deliver to their audience (not your business). Answering these questions will help you construct the perfect pitch. Who are you and why is your experience/field relevant? Why do you like their blog? Why you’d like to submit a guest post What will it include? Why is it interesting to their audience? When can you produce it by? How can they contact you? If you’re not sure if they accept guest posts don’t forget to ask! When you submit your final piece, don’t forget to include a short bio about yourself at the end of the article and include a link to your website or blog. Once your post is live Say thank you to the blogger – drop them a line showing your appreciation Stick around and comment – develop a dialogue with their audience Link to the article from your website or blog, and share the article with your network Following up Make the most of all that new traffic by ensuring there’s content on your site that leads on from the guest blog post. This could be a landing page specifically created for that audience and focused on the topic in hand, or it could be a pop up or call to action on the home page that draws people in. What are your top tips for being an awesome guest poster? Let us know in the comments. If you’re keen to start your guest posting strategy The Media Octopus can help. Contact us to learn more.